In a well-known American stand up comedian's bit about cell phones, he talks about how the public often laments their phones. It’s not because they had several weeks of issues; their phones just went weird for a second or two. If you hate your service provider, he says, go out and make your own network; get some hubcaps and climb some trees.
Well, two brothers who live in Manhattan decided to do just that. Similar to the bit about people becoming frustrated with their phones, Rob and Eric Veksler were dissatisfied with their Internet service, so according to a recent article at the Wall Street Journal, instead of continuing to receive poor service and complaining about it, they built their own network, Brooklyn Fiber. It started with a single antenna on the roof of the Fairway grocery store in Red Hook. Now, the brothers Veksler have seen so much positive reception for their broadband services they are expanding to Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, and Sunset Park, and intend to keep going.
The pair is reportedly distinguishing their broadband service from competitors such as Time Warner (News - Alert) Cable by providing personalized customer service. They do not have a customer service center, so instead of handing off customer complaints to third parties, Eric Veksler lists his own cell phone number of the Brooklyn Fiber website. That's right: you can call the co-founder of the directly, and he will come to your door.
Competitors Time Warner and Verizon (News - Alert) both reported to WSJ that they are working to improve their customer service in the area. Both companies have a leg up on Brooklyn Fiber because they offer phone and television service in addition to Internet. Brooklyn Fiber only has Internet.
Still, the two enterprising brothers have carved a niche in the city that has some singing praises of what they can provide. Jeffrey Torem, director of Liberty Warehouse, a location in Red Hook, is one such customer, and he reportedly signed up for Brooklyn Fiber even with a few months left on his Time Warner subscription.
"It's not even close," Torem said. "I canceled Time Warner. [The Vekslers] have been so much better."
On the Brooklyn Fiber website, Eric Veksler says, "We field all phone and email questions personally and are happy to help you with any related or unrelated tech issues you may have in your home or business."
Torem noted that Eric Veksler has come immediately to Liberty any time Torem has had a problem with his service.
The brothers' services are priced competitively with those of the larger ISPs in the area. They offer everything from basic to enterprise-class speed, and the website notes that the company believes in fair prices and sustained growth that is paired with personalized customer service. It is reportedly their commitment to top customer service that keeps them from expanding the business even into their own apartments or other places of business.
There is no word from WSJ about how quickly the service may reach Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Sunset Park, or any other areas of New York. For now, it appears that the pair is content with slow, steady expansion and allowing their responsibility to customers to take precedence over providing service to a greater number of people.
Edited by Maurice Nagle